On Assignment Nurse Travel Forms To Mexico

This post is for all my nursing readers. I know some of you are struggling with your jobs, or nursing school because you e-mail me about it, usually saying, “I want to quit nursing!” “I want to drop out of nursing school!” “How did you do it?” “Was your family mad?” I understand your feelings because I was there once not that long ago.

I remember being in Europe in the summer, dreading going back to school. Each quarter the teachers would say something like, “Maybe geriatrics won’t be your thing, but next quarter we’ll do pediatrics. Eventually one will grab your heart and you’ll know which type of nurse you want to be.”

I never had one really grab at me, but I did love working with the babies. I was a nurse aid for 2.5 years on a postpartum unit. I loved my coworkers and swaddling and rocking those newborns was like a form of therapy! I truly loved that job.

*Stay tuned to the very bottom for the tips to keep your resume fresh while you take a “break” from saving lives.

My Background in Nursing & How it Led me to Travel

Because travel was my priority, I knew after one year of resume building, I wanted to travel nurse. I talked to some agencies and they all concluded that cardiac telemetry was the minimum amount of critical care to be able to get the majority of good jobs.

I worked in Charlotte, NC on a cardiac tele floor for a year. My resume was finally looking real! I quit that job, went to India for a few months, and came back to take my first (and last) travel nursing job.  Because of meeting Ben, I went back to India.

when I took my first nursing job in NC, I met Britani! She was my travel buddy in the U.S.

The truth is, if I hadn’t met him, I would have taken another assignment. I had a great plan to work 3 months with overtime, then travel until I ran out of money (at least six months), then take another assignment. Repeat.  I didn’t get very far down my path.

Do I miss nursing? Not really. I miss the money. I miss night shift. I miss the emergencies. I miss the stability and the days off. But the “nursing” part I don’t miss.

With my new life plan, giving massages and trying to get this website a popular source for travel to India, I still get those free days- just not the money, yet. On the bright side, I don’t argue with morbidly obese type two diabetics with heart failure about fried chicken and mac n’ cheese. (mmm, fried chicken!)

For those of you still in school, but hating it…

My advice is to finish school. I won’t ever e-mail my readers back and tell them to drop out.

After you graduate you HAVE to work for a year before you can take off traveling (if you are in the U.S.). It’s very difficult to get a hospital job if you don’t and you’ll end up in a nursing home or on a rehab or med/surg floor.

This is why you really should work as an aid during the school year and take advantage of your summers off to travel.

Really consider travel nursing. I would still be doing it if I hadn’t had the interesting experience I did in India. Travel nursing will fill your pockets with more money than you know what to do with and because contracts are up after 13 weeks, you can take time off as you want before you take another assignment.

a couple photos from my assignment in Washington

Don’t take as much time as you want though. No more than a year. After a year, you can’t get a travel job in the U.S. unless you’ve got quite a lot of experience under your belt. After a year of no work, you can still get a job as a nurse- just not as a traveller. It’s almost all travel nurse agencies policy in the U.S. and abroad (Middle East & Asia).

I happened to meet Ben on my first trip to India. It could have been different. I knew travel nursing was only until “something life-changing happened”, and luckily it happened on my first trip after quitting my first nursing job. It could have been the third or fourth… who knows?

As a nurse, you have amazing options for travel which is part of the reason I think you should 100% finish school. I didn’t love nursing, but I didn’t hate it. Working 3 months a year at a job I was “ok” with in order to travel the rest of the year was a sacrifice I was super happy to make. It wouldn’t have bothered me ONE BIT to keep doing travel nursing on and off while I saw the world. My girlfriends I met travel nursing are still doing so in Hawaii, Alaska, and California. They are living it up and take expensive trips all the budget knowing budget isn’t a huge concern. It’s an awesome career path if you’re not bummed out staring at the clock every 12 hour shift you work.

So, for those of you who want to quit your job but aren’t sure…

No reason to be miserable. My advice to you is to try travel nursing in the U.S. before you go off on an international adventure. It’s fun to move to another city. Because you’re a traveler you don’t have as much responsibility within the unit, and you won’t be in all that “nursing drama”. Most likely they won’t make you be charge nurse (unless you took my assignment in which case you would “tag team” charge nurse with other travelers & train the new travelers coming in. Scary!) You get in and out.

If it’s a good facility, they should give the travelers a fairly easy set of patients since we aren’t trained more than a couple days (or in my case 1 day). You might find that the vibe of being a traveler suits you more and you might even start to like nursing. Who knows?

Use that opportunity to save up some money for your trip abroad. Three months flies by! Taking just one assignment gave me enough money that over a year later I still have some. Keep in mind I’m in India though not Paris.

For those who say, “But, I want to travel now!!”

If you’re sure, you’re sure. Go for it! Although leaving school isn’t ideal, it’s your call.

Ok, so you’ve quit- now what?

FYI, your paycheck is gone. I hope you’ve thought of this you crazy people! ;)

I’ve mentioned in a couple posts that I don’t see my degree as a waste. I see it as a back-up that helps me sleep at night. This is why I tell people not to drop out of school.

You guys have asked how people reacted. My friends were supporting. My bestie, who I was doing travel nursing with, of course was bummed I was leaving. She has since been traveling through California causing me envy with every mojito and concert photo she posts with all her new nursing friends! She’s having a killer time out there.

My family was/is worried. I mean no parents wants their kid to leave the career they helped them get.

I had a nice paying secure job. Our parents come from a generation where you don’t leave something like that. Our generation switches jobs every year almost and outside the U.S. there is less “loyalty” to your employee and more switching for “something better”. You have to follow your heart.

You can still get nursing jobs after being out of work for a while, just not your ideal job. We do lose skills and surely now, if someone went into an irregular rhythm and I needed to start a code or even titrate a drip, my heart would stop for a few seconds while I panicked and tried to remember everything.

There are some things you need to take care of so that your degree doesn’t become useless. 

  • Keep your primary license active. I only keep Ohio active. If you take another travel job, they will pay for your new licenses, so I didn’t keep my Washington or North Carolina.
  • Make sure you have your address up to date with the nursing board. I have everything sent to my parent’s house in Ohio. They’ll send a reminder when you need to re-new.
  • For Ohio, to keep it active, I have to pay money every two years. Keep this information written down and stored.
  • To keep a license active, you have to follow your states’ rules on CEU’s. For Ohio, I have to do 24, one being specific.
  • Keep your certifications active. When I was home in May, I had a class booked to renew my ACLS. That also gave me 8 CEU’s. Do the same with your BLS or whatever else you have. Having these active will help you get a job after some time off. It shows you take initiative and didn’t let your skills slide. Actually, in many cases you can’t even apply to a job without these active.
  • If you can volunteer abroad, then you should at least once a month, It’s something you can put on your resume. It’d also be nice to bring up in an interview. I haven’t found a place in Goa, or maybe I haven’t tried hard enough.
  • If you’ve had multiple jobs, you have to combine your retirement papers? 401k? I’m not quite sure. My parents helped me with this- well, their tax guy did!
  • Lastly, even if you find yourself in Fiji when tax time rolls around, you still have to file taxes one last time if you let your income go. If you find a way to make money after that (blogging, massage etc) you  have to file taxes even if you don’t live in America! Fuck.

Did I go too meme crazy!? Did you enjoy this post? Let me know in the comments or by sharing it with the social media links! I’d love to keep giving you travel tricks & tips so feel free to subscribe by e-mail in the big purple box below. Don’t forget you can follow me on facebook, twitter, instagram & bloglovin‘.

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Rachel Jones 2016-10-13T10:07:15+00:00

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing to live on the beaches of Goa, India almost four years ago where she is now a travel writer. Her website gives advice on the 35+ countries she's been to but has become the go-to site for India travel, focusing on offbeat places & “glamorous travel”. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE magazine, Tripadvisor, and Thomas Cook. Her blog is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world based on traffic. She also enjoys writing for BravoTV.

Medical Solutions Traveler FAQ

Traveling:

How do I become a Travel Nurse with Medical Solutions?
Am I obligated to travel with Medical Solutions if I fill out an application?
What is the process to become a Travel Nurse?
Is there a fee to become a Travel Nurse for Medical Solutions?


Compensation and Benefits:

How much is my pay?
How often will I be paid?
What is a Personalized Pay Package?
What about housing?
What is Per Diem?
Do you offer 401(k)?
Do you offer travel reimbursements?


Assignments:

What Travel Nursing assignments are available?
How long does it take to get an assignment?
What about state licensing?
What happens after my assignment is over?


How do I become a Travel Nurse with Medical Solutions?

Simply fill out the application in our Apply section. You can also call us at  1.866.633.3548 and speak with a personal Career Consultant. They can answer your questions and send you an information packet.
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Am I obligated to travel with Medical Solutions if I fill out an application?

No. You are never obligated to travel with Medical Solutions regardless if you have submitted your application or not. Your information is always kept confidential and we must get your permission before submitting your resume to a Client. This gives you a chance to explore your options and choose the best assignment.
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What is the process to become a Travel Nurse?

Our process is simple. All we need to begin is your application and resume. Once we receive your information we can begin discussing potential assignments that fit your profile. Again, you are under no obligation to travel with Medical Solutions just because you submitted your information to us. Your personal Career Consultant will send you an information packet that contains a simple checklist outlining the documents you will need to become a Travel Nurse or Travel Allied Health Professional. Many of these documents and the checklist can be downloaded from our website under Resources.
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Is there a fee to become a Travel Nurse for Medical Solutions?

Absolutely not. We're paid by the hospital. If you choose to travel with Medical Solutions, you will become our employee and we pay you.
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How much is my pay?

Your total compensation package, including your hourly pay, is completely customized to fit your needs. Pay rates vary from assignment to assignment depending on location and the hospital.

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How often will I be paid?

You are paid weekly by direct deposit. Most Travelers have their paycheck directly deposited in their primary bank to eliminate the hassle of finding a new bank for each assignment.

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What is a Personalized Pay Package?

It simply means we have the flexibility to compensate you in a number of different ways! Most Traveling Nurse and Allied Health companies have cookie-cutter programs and a take it or leave it attitude. With Medical Solutions, we find out what's most important to you: hourly pay, stipends, bonuses, per diem, etc. We'll take the time to understand your needs, put a package together outlining each item, and clearly explain your total compensation.

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What about housing?

With Medical Solutions, your housing is paid, private, and fully furnished! Unlike some companies, you are not required to share housing. Our housing coordinators will find you the best housing available, focusing on drive time, safety, and security. We handle all the arrangements for you, including furnishings and utilities. All you need to do is show up. Of course, if you prefer to pick something on your own or stay with friends or family, you will be offered a housing stipend.

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What is Per Diem?

Per diem allowances and reimbursements are typically tax-free dollars allotted to you for traveling away from your primary residence. It is designed to cover the expense of your meals, transportation, and many costs associated with traveling.
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Do you offer a 401(k)?

Yes, we offer a plan through Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust with auto enrollment after your first 30 days of work and an employer match of 50% of your contribution up to 3%. Ask your Career Consultant for more information.
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Do you offer travel reimbursements?

Yes, Medical Solutions will provide you a travel stipend reimbursement to assist you with any of the costs you incur traveling to and from your assignment. Half of this stipend is provided in your first paycheck while the remainder is provided at the end of your assignment.
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What Travel Nursing and Travel Allied Health assignments are available?

Medical Solutions has open travel assignments across the country for most specialties and shifts. We receive and fill new assignments every day. Just tell us where you want to travel and we'll present open assignments or find one for you. Additionally, you can search current opportunities on the Job Searchpage.

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How long does it take to get an assignment?

Once you have interviewed for the position and both you and the facility decide to move forward, it typically takes one to six weeks, depending on when you are available and the start date of the assignment. We typically begin presenting new assignments to you about 30 days from the end of your current assignment.

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What about state licensing?

Your personal Career Consultant can tell you exactly how much time is necessary to apply for a state license and the cost. Of course, if a temporary license is required, Medical Solutions will reimburse you for the cost.

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What happens after my Travel Nursing assignment is over?

Before your assignment is over, your personal Career Consultant will begin discussing new Travel Nursing assignments with you. However, it is completely your choice to extend your assignment (if an extension is offered), take another assignment, go full time, or simply take a break. If you want to see some of the assignments we have available search our jobs on the Travel Nursing Job Search page.
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Have questions about Travel Nursing basics?
See our Travel Nursing FAQ Page.

 

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